Chicago Cubs: Yu Darvish, Kris Bryant working toward respective returns

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Is Yu Darvish finally turning a corner?

For all the flak Darvish has received this season, a great many people are watching his recovery very closely. Thankfully, deadline acquisition Cole Hamels has pitched extraordinarily well in his two outings, providing some stability for the rotation.

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As Jon Lester struggles to get back on-track, someone like Darvish could lengthen the rotation – and perhaps the pen. It stands to reason that if and when he makes his return to the Cubs, Mike Montgomery could head back to the bullpen. That gives Joe Maddon a quality long reliever from the left side – something the team currently lacks.

Darvish has thrown multiple times in the last week, giving us all cause for hope. Maddon was encouraged with what he saw in his most recent session on Wednesday.

"“I thought he threw really well, easy, not affected in any way,” Maddon said. “I think he hit 93 [mph]. Good curveballs and cutter. He looked loose and free to me. I thought it was a really good day.”"

Of course, Darvish has not pitched in a game since May 20. That’s hardly the first season he – or the team – had imagined when he inked a six-year, $126 million deal this winter. But if he can get back on the mound and turn in meaningful starts in September, all could, and likely would, be forgiven.